Allan Tannenbaum’s career spans the vagaries of what it meant to be in New York in the 1970s – a city very different from the glistening gentrification of today’s Manhattan. The book showcases burnt-out abandoned cars, fire-gutted brownstones with their distinct fire escapes crawling up their sides, gay rights protests and battered subway cars, alongside the city’s cynical art scene and avant-garde theatre.
Photographs of the city’s needy are heart-breaking, with one redundant worker’s vacant stare reaching out to Tannenbaum, as a translucent ghost of a man. The works lapse from such social observations to portraiture of the city’s movers and shakers, from Blondie to Andy Warhol, The Rolling Stones to Jasper Johns, with a multitude of social vagrants, protesters and eccentrics in between.
With a forward by Yoko Ono, the book explores the city she adopted for creativity and protest and encompasses New York’s beautiful varieties in between, presenting a fascinating insight into an era falling apart on the edges, and partying at its core.